Jacob Hickey embodies growth and confidence. His art is a journey full of discovery and belief in what we all aspire to be – free. When you entertain yourself with something that you actually love, magic happens. Jacob uses art as a functioning mechanism and when you absorb his creations, you realize his depth and envision his trajectory. Aptly nicknamed “Ecstatic Bones”, Jacob and his work resonate a glee for life that enriches spectators and arms fans with pure resolute conviction to strive to get better at what ever craft you choose.
“I never fully realized how my brain correlates certain ideas and pieces …”
Please tell us a little about yourself – your childhood, siblings, where you grew up, what you liked as a child, strange thoughts as a child/now, unique attributes, where you live now, etc.?
Growing up, I lived on the west bank of New Orleans. I have one little sister who’s constantly telling me she wants to be an artist when she gets older. I went to the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) in high school which is just past the French Market. So I got a daily dosage of the spectrum of the artists’ life, from street performers to neighborhood art projects. My freshman year of college I attended SCAD and transferred the following year to Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. I only attended Cornish for a semester before dropping out due to finances. I’ve lived in Seattle almost the entire time since, and have been self-teaching each day.
What does your art mean to you?
My art is just an extension of myself. When I was younger it seemed like something I was doing just to entertain myself; but it’s kind of what keeps me sane these days. I feel most artists will tell you similar stories about how we can’t live without a brush, camera, etc.; and it couldn’t be more accurate. I don’t think I’d be a functioning person in society if it weren’t for my art.
Your art has a nostalgically different but definite flair – how do you describe your style of art, what tools do you use for the creation of your work and how did you create your personal style?
Well thank you! While my style is not something I can directly pin-point, the idea behind each piece I do has a more consistent style then my techniques. Since 8th grade, I’ve been experimenting with as many techniques as I could get my hands on. I love sculpture, photography, pastels, and painting. However, my favorites are drawing with graphite and inks. Every meaning that goes into my works calls to a certain medium for me. Growing up in New Orleans has left me with many hardships, but through each hardship I find the beauty and message that life lends me. At the heart of each experience I’ve had, lies a new idea to share with the public. I find it easier to portray the beauty in the mundane with photography. When I need to get a stronger point across I stick to my drawings and paintings. As for my style, it also stems from the artists who inspire me most. Derek Hess, Sam Wolfe Connelly, and Elly Smallwood are just a few that I can’t get enough of.
If you could use two words to describe yourself, what would those two words be?
Pretty simple answer – Ecstatic Bones.
What is the worst critique you have ever received about your work? What is the best compliment that you have received about your work?
That’s a bit tougher to answer. I think my worst critique was back in high school when I was first learning how to use oil pastels. I had actually missed the few classes when everyone else learned the basics on how to use them. I was too eager to prove myself and brought in my assignment for critique without any previous experience. It was an epic failure, but by the end we were all joking about my efforts, so it was worth it.
I think some of the best compliments I’ve received about my work were actually from fellow piers in college. Classmates who’s work I loved, told me that they were jealous of my work. I think an idol’s sincere approval is always the best compliment anyone can receive.
Since Style.No.Chaser is a men’s lifestyle magazine, what attributes/items/clothing /etc. do you think define a man?
I can’t say that one thing defines a man. But if I had to simplify it: humbleness, respectfulness, a sense of responsibility, and being concerned with others happiness before his own. As for clothing, I think you should wear whatever makes you feel comfortable. For me sometimes that’s baggy sweats and an LSU t-shirt, other times I just want to be dressed to the nines.
What is your personal life philosophy?
Do what you love, and do it with all of your heart; without it you’re just a lump of bones.
When was your most recent art epiphany and what was it about?
I had that “ah ha!” a few months ago when coming up with new ideas for paintings. One of the current paintings I’m working on pertains to my thought process. I never fully realized how my brain correlates certain ideas and pieces them together. Sometimes sitting down with a sketchbook and hashing out with yourself leads to a few epiphanies artistically.
Who dead or alive, celebrity or not, artist or not, would you like to go on a two week road trip with and why?
Honestly in the past few years I have really been into Derek Hess’ work (derekhess.com). After seeing his instagram feed of him constantly going fishing, I think I’d go on the trip with him. The guy is a phenomenal artist and seems to know how to relax properly!
How can people learn more about your current and upcoming works?
I am always posting on my blog (ecstaticbones.tumblr.com) with new sketches, photography, and paintings. Any new material is posted there first. I like to give everyone a peek at the behind the scenes. However my finished works are posted to my website.
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